Saturday, May 05, 2007


After my walk through Antwerp City I returned to the Station and visited the Zoo. This zoo is very old. It was inaugurated in 1844 by King Leopold I and opened to the public.

In the first period of its existence, the area of the park grew from less than 2 hectares to more than 10 hectares. Notable buildings from that period are the

Egyptian temple from 1856,which is now occupied by Elephants and the antelope building 1861 in Oriental style, which now houses the okapis.

The park is so big and beautiful, that many Antwerp inhabitants use it like a normalpark, where they stay the whole day, can picnic and the children have a nice playground. There are three restaurants and banks are everywhere and you can sit under nice trees and enjoy the beauty of the park or visit the animals.

The only thing which bothered me personally was, that there was more room for humans than for animals, which should have been the other way around. But the cages had been made much bigger and more species-appropriate as I had seen them some 30 years ago.

In 1983, the zoo was classified as a monument.

Antwerp Zoo houses over 5,000 animals of about 950 species. They get nearly 1.3 million visitors each year and have around 38,000 supporting members.

Zoo entrance

Postcards of the animals

some spring cleaning

and here starts the beautiful park

with flamengos at first

The apes were inside because their cage was just cleaned

But then they showed up and I saw this cool boy. He looked at me too stood up and slowly came over and sat down.

We were just separated by a thick glass but I tried to take these pictures of him, while he put his head against the glass and looked at me on the other side.

He had such a cute look ! I wished I could petted him, but then probably I would have looked like a pancake.

These little gentlemen greated everybody in their tuxedos, they really were very funny to see especially when they all walked together.

That was another kind of monkey with long cat tails. I don't remember the name.

and beavers ! They grumbled and walked around like angry men

Some scavening birds

and Giraffes. Their house was also very old but modernized

see the beautiful decoration of the building

and then I arrived at the Elephants.

The house of the Elephants with its Egyptian decoration

and father Elephant who stand there waiting to be fed. The poor guy only had one tusk.

It was feeding time and they all waited. There was also one elephant baby as you can see.

children very intrigued by these big animals

The chimpanzees were jumping around

and also expected some food from the visitors, but feeding was not allowed of course

Here I admired the oriental house of the Okapis

He is just eating and wasn't very much interested in me

another beautiful building for monkeys I suppose, it was empty.

These were apes with red bottoms I don't remember the name, but they looked quite funny !

And here are some pictures of the parc. Stone Elephant sculptures covered with ivy

a lot of flowers and trees

This little guy walked just behind the bank where I rested a little after my long walk.

Of course I have missed a lot of animals, but I only had one hour and a complete visit to see all animals would have lasted 3 h at least ! But for sure I will go back there.


Anonymous said...

Phew! I hardly could find you since you had no link from your main blog any longer to your other blogs.

(What happened to the sidebar? No links or blogrolls any longer?)

What a wonderfully old Zoo you got there. Love the entrance with the Tiger picture! Magnificent.

I agree with you though, too much space for the people and not enough for the animals. It's a pity that they don't make other solutions for the animals.

I always get a bit sad about the animals situation when going to Stockholms Zoo, called "Skansen", for the same reason. The animals, I just don't like to see them in prison - surely it must feel like that for many of them.

Butt I do think that it's important to have Zoo's because sometimes that's some childrens only contact with animals!

That picture with the two Giraffes is excellent, very good captured.

The buildings seems to be very unusual for a Zoo - look at that Egyptian one! *whistles*

...and the oriental one too. What is that Oktapis? I've never seen anything like it! Is it a mix breed of a Zebra and.....?

Loved the stone elephants in the park too.

...and the lunch box, I could need that after all the walking - I'm hungry like a wolf!!!

*slurping loudly*

Anonymous said...

Oh, one more question: is that first guy really a Orangutan?

I've never seen such a black one, I thought they always use to be redhaired?

Melli said...

Ohhhhhh YAY! I LOVE the zoo! I can NOT believe HOW beautiful the buildings are for the animals! OUR zoo -- our NATIONAL ZOO - in Washington, DC - has such ugly buildings for the animals! Of course, most of the buildings hardly hold ANY animals anymore -- it makes me mad! And the outdoor displays are now SO animal friendly that you can almost never SEE the animals that are out there! I'm all for animals rights -- but what is the point of a zoo where you can't see any animals??? Craziness.... At least at your zoo you could FIND the animals - and you have the beautiful buildings to see too! BRAVO!!! I LOVE to visit Belgium! I can't wait to come in person!

Melli said...

Oh! What "other" name might that Oktapis go by? I tried googling - I've never heard of it or seen it before -- but google knows nothing of it either.... Is there another name for it?

RennyBA said...

What a lovely round tour in a wonderful Zoo. Never been there, but feel I have now after looking through your post.

I think the pic of the three children in front of the elephant was so cute - thanks for sharing:-)

Anonymous said...

I had a very marvelous time in the zoo! Thanks! It 's a relax time for me waiting the winner of the elections! Hope Ségolène will the winner!
oh! Il est bien curieux cet okapi! Je vais aller sur google pour mieux connaître cet animal étrange!
Les bâtiments sont très originaux! Vraiment les enfants et les grands enfants doivent y passer du bon temps!
Bravo et merci Gattina pour cette sympathique visite!

Anonymous said...

That is interesting how the gorilla came by and sat down next to you; his/her face is really cute! What a beautiful zoo! I've never seen such a beautiful one b4! :-)

MaR said...

Such a wonderful trip to the zoo! loved all your pics, but I am biased towards the little ones ) so I specially liked the small elephant and the penguins. Although the giraffes look so tall and elegant!!
lovely tour!

Humor Girl said...

Awww! The zoo!! :) i went to the San Diego Zoo a few years back and loved it.

Gledwood said...

Looks like you had a really entertaining day out!

Sigrun said...

Durch dich komm ich sogar nach Antwerpen in den Zoo! Schön! Auch dieser orientalische Bogen gefällt mir sehr.


TorAa said...

What an exiting, guided tour in this beautiful park. I think I will go there.

TO BECOME said...

The visit to the zoo was so great. The grounds with the flowers and trees were beautiful and the animals were wonderful. Thank you for taking me along by way of the pictures and comments. connie from Texas

sonia a. mascaro said...

Wow! This reportage is just wonderful, Ingrid! Great photos! I love so much Okapi, they are just amazing animals! Love so much the stone slephant sculptures covered with ivy, it's just stunning! I think it was topiary.

PS: In my opinion the new page configuration it's more better. For me it's opens so quickly. Thank you so much!

GMG said...

Hi! It has been such a long time since I visited your travel blog, that I had actually somehow lost; but I'm glad I could recover the address to see such beautiful posts on Antwerp. They surely do much more for the city than many travel guides. Great job!

GMG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GMG said...

Thanks for your visit and comment to Blogtrotter.
I'm still posting on Provence these days, but look forward to seeing your next Turkey post...

Jientje said...

I did not realize you had more than one blog Gattina! Great posts you have here! I saw the one on the ice sculptures in Bruges too!And Manneken Piss of course! I had planned on doing a Manneken Piss story too, but it 'll have to wait untill I can make my own pictures of him... Maybe someday!
By the way, I think the Antwerp Zoo is lovely exept for the pityful way they housed the elephants, it breaks my heart every time I see them behind that electric wires!

Anonymous said...

yo... amazing thread :)


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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.


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